Mass Media and the Female Body Image

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Does The Mass Media Really Have Such a Substantial Effect on our Socialization Processes, Especially On What Our ‘Female’ Body Image Ideals Are? : 

Does The Mass Media Really Have Such a Substantial Effect on our Socialization Processes, Especially On What Our ‘Female’ Body Image Ideals Are?

What is the Mass Media? : 

What is the Mass Media? A section of the media specifically designed to reach large audiences, includes Radio and Television broadcasts, disk and tape Recordings, Films, The Internet, Mobile Phone alerts and entertainments, Publishing's, including electronic publishing, and Video Games.

What are the 3 Main Purposes of the Media? : 

What are the 3 Main Purposes of the Media? Advocacy- both for social and business concerns, include marketing, advertising, propaganda, political communication, and public relations. Entertainment- traditionally through performances of acting, music, sports, and light reading, but since the late 20th century video and computer games have also been included. Public Service Announcements.

Theories Supporting Media Influence on Female Body Image : 

Theories Supporting Media Influence on Female Body Image Social Learning Theory Social Cognitive Theory Cognitive Development Theory Social Constructivist Theory Objectification Theory

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY : 

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Learning and development theory proposed by Albert Bandura. His theory pushed social elements in learning, arguing that people can learn attitudes and behaviors by observing other people, known as observational learning or modeling Bandura identified three basic models of observational learning: I. A Live Model - which involves an actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior II. A Verbal Instructional Model - which involves descriptions and explanations of a behavior. III. A symbolic model - which involves real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs, or online media. External environmental positive reinforcement or negative consequence continues to influences learning and behavior, ex. If observable behavior or actual behavior receives positive feedback repetition of action is likely.

SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY : 

SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY Modification on social learning theory to include cognition (mental processes) into observable learned behaviors Psychosocial mechanisms (psychological development through interaction with social environments) like human thought processes and there affects and actions are influenced by symbolic models and communications. (MASS MEDIA) Media influences link individuals to social networks and community settings that provide incentives and guidance. Internal positive reinforcement or negative consequence continues to influences learning and behavior, ex. intrinsic reinforcement through internal rewards, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment leads to repetition of action

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT THEORY : 

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT THEORY Theory developed by Jean Piaget says that organisms adapt to their environment and behavior itself is an adaptation to ones environment. Behavior is controlled through mental structures called constructed schemes (messages received from the environment including media messages); Adaptation is driven by a biological drive to obtain balance between schemes and the environment. (equilibrium) Piaget described two processes used to reach this equilibrium: Assimilation and Accommodation: Assimilation is the process of using or transforming the environment so that it can be placed in preexisting cognitive structures. Accommodation is the process of changing cognitive structures in order to accept something from the environment Example: once a female learns from their environment that beauty is characterized by youth, thinness, and a lack of body hair they will change their structures and independently strive to fulfill those ideals of beauty (Accommodation) & if a female’s mentally structure tells her that beauty is youth and thinness she will transform her environment to fit that cognitive structure (Assimilation).

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY : 

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY Lev Vygotsky's constructivist theory states that culture, mass media being a serious part of our culture, gives individuals the cognitive tools (mental processes) needed for development, and the type and quality of those tools determines and individuals pattern and rate of development. Emphasized the critical importance of culture and social context on cognitive development. Includes the zone of proximal development theory which emphasizes the belief that learning is, fundamentally, a socially mediated activity

OBJECTIFICATION THEORY : 

OBJECTIFICATION THEORY Women and girls develop their primary view of their physical selves from observations of others. These observations can take place through personal experience or through MEDIA OBSERVATONS. Through a blend of actual and expected exposure, women are socialized to objectify their own physical characteristics from a third person perception, which is identified as self-objectification. Women develop an expected physical appearance for themselves, based on observations of others. Primarily describes how girls and women are influenced as a result of expected gender and social roles. Women learn that their physical appearance is important to society and themselves and as a result, females consider their physical appearance often, expecting that others will also.

So What Exactly is the Media Socializing us to in Regards to Female Body Images and Ideals? : 

So What Exactly is the Media Socializing us to in Regards to Female Body Images and Ideals? Largest Percentage Females Depicted on Television are in Their 20’s (Strong, DeVault, Cohen) Average age of a fashion model in 16 (Hellmich, USA TODAY 2006) Average Fashion Models: Height: 5 feet 10.5 inches, Weight: 120 pounds, Waist Circumference: 23 inches. Average American Women: Height: 5 feet 3.8 inches, Weight: 164.7 pounds, Waist circumference: 37 inches (Hellmich, USA TODAY 2006; CDC 2009)

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? : 

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? Poor Personal Body Image Exposure to idealized body images lowers women's satisfaction with their own attractiveness (12 Groesz, Levine, & Muren), As the current media ideals of thinness for women are achievable by less than 5% of the female population. (Fox, “Mirror Mirror”, SIRC. 1997) In a sample study of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, 68% felt worse about their own appearance after looking through women's magazines. (Body Image & Advertising: Dittrich, L. "About-Face facts on the MEDIA," op. cit) Prevalence of distorted body image among women, fostered by their constant self-comparison to extremely thin figures promoted in the media. 75% of "normal" weight women think they are overweight and 90% of women overestimate their body size. (Body Image & Advertising: Kilbourne, J., "Slim Hopes," video, Media Education Foundation, 1995., Media Influence on Teens)

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? : 

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? Unhealthy Eating Habits/Eating disorders Depicting thin models leads girls to unhealthy weight-control habits, because the ideal women seek to emulate is unattainable for many and unhealthy for most. One study found that 47% of girls were influenced by magazine pictures to want to lose weight, but only 29% were actually overweight (Body Image & Advertising: Woznicki, K. 1999. "Pop Culture Hurts Body Image." OnHealth [Online: http:// www.onhealth.com/ch1 /briefs/item,55572.asp. April 13, 2000 ;"Magazine Models Impact Girls' Desire to Lose Weight, Press Release,") The number one wish for girls ages 11-17 is to be thinner, girls as young as five have expressed fears of getting fat, and 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted (Body Image & Advertising :Facts on Body and Image," op. cit. Media Influence on Teens, op. cit. Kilbourne, J., op. cit.) Modern conceptions of women's beauty have impact on eating disorders (Wolf, “the beauty myth” 1991”) & research has also found that stringent dieting to achieve an ideal figure can play a key role in triggering eating disorders (Goode, E. "Girls' Self Image Survives Effect of Glossy Ads." The New York Times , August 24, 1999)

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? : 

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? Eroticization of Young Girls Hypersexualization of very young girls, most notably in fashion and advertising is a recent disturbing trend The fashion industry has begun to use younger and younger models, and now commonly presents 12- and 13-year-old girls as if they were women. Anthropologist David Murray warns that, "Our culture is to a large extent experimenting with eroticizing the child." For Murray, the media frenzy around teeny-bopper pop star Britney Spears and murdered 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey are examples of how this eroticization is being turned into a highly saleable commodity. (Media Awareness Network “Media and Girls” 2010)

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? : 

What Are the Effects of These Socialized Female Body Images and Ideals? The Beauty Myth: “ The quality called “beauty” objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it. This embodiment is an imperative for women but not for men, which is necessary and natural because it is biological, sexual, and evolutionary. Strong men battle for beautiful women and beautiful women are more reproducibly successful, and since this system is based on natural selection it is inevitable and changeless.” (Wolf, 1992; 12)

The Truth According to Wolf: : 

The Truth According to Wolf: “NONE OF THIS IS TRUE. “Beauty” is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy it is determined by politics and in the modern age in the west it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact” (Patriarch) It assigns value to women according to culturally imposed physical standards creating a hierarchy base on nothing but physical standards It allows women to enter the labor force, but under controlled conditions; this system keeps women under control by the weight of their own insecurities. It is violent backlash against feminism

Slide 16: 

"The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us...During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty ... pornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined,...More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers." -Naomi Wolf-

Conclusions : 

Conclusions Mass media has a substantial effect on our socialization processes Mass media has a substantial effect on our perceptions of the ‘female’ body image ideal The mass media pushes female body images and ideals that have numerous negative effects on women and society

“There is a secret "underlife" poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging, and dread of lost control.” -Naomi Wolf- : 

“There is a secret "underlife" poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging, and dread of lost control.” -Naomi Wolf-

Accredited sources Strong, Bryan, DeVault Christine, and Theodore F. Cohen. The Marriage and Family Experience; Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society 10th Edition. Belmont California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008. Print. Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media & Body Image. Thousand Oaks California: SAGE Publications, 2005. Print. Bryant, Jennings, and Mary Beth Oliver. Media Effects 3rd Edition; Advances in Theory & Research. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print. Flavell, John H. "COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: Children's Knowledge About the Mind - Annual Review, 50(1):21 - Abstract." Annual Reviews of Psychology. 1 Feb. 1999. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.psych.50.1.21>.Sims, Henry P. Jr., and Charles C. Manz. “Social Learning Theory; The Role of Modeling in the Exercise of Leadership.” Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 3.4 (1982): 55-63. Print.Wolf, Naomi. "The Beauty Myth." Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Maasik and Solomon. Boston: Bedford, 1994. : 

Accredited sources Strong, Bryan, DeVault Christine, and Theodore F. Cohen. The Marriage and Family Experience; Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society 10th Edition. Belmont California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008. Print. Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media & Body Image. Thousand Oaks California: SAGE Publications, 2005. Print. Bryant, Jennings, and Mary Beth Oliver. Media Effects 3rd Edition; Advances in Theory & Research. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print. Flavell, John H. "COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: Children's Knowledge About the Mind - Annual Review, 50(1):21 - Abstract." Annual Reviews of Psychology. 1 Feb. 1999. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.psych.50.1.21>.Sims, Henry P. Jr., and Charles C. Manz. “Social Learning Theory; The Role of Modeling in the Exercise of Leadership.” Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 3.4 (1982): 55-63. Print.Wolf, Naomi. "The Beauty Myth." Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Maasik and Solomon. Boston: Bedford, 1994.

Other SourcesBryannan, Laura A. "The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf." Homestar.org. 1 Feb. 1999. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.homestar.org/bryannan/wolf.html>.Emily Guglielmo. “The Correct Origins of "The Beauty Myth" 1 March. 1996. Web 04 June 2010.<http://atdpweb.soe.berkeley.edu/quest/Mind&Body/EGuglielmo.htmlBody Image, Advertising. "Eating Disorders: Body Image and Advertising - HealthyPlace." HealthyPlace.com - Trusted Mental Health Information and Support - HealthyPlace. 11 Dec. 2008. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/main/eating-disorders-body-image-and-advertising/menu-id-58/>.Body Image and Advertising. 2000. Issue Briefs. Studio City, Calif.: Mediascope Press. April 25, 2000.Hellmich, Nanci "USATODAY.com - Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image?" News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - USATODAY.com. 26 Sept. 2006. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-09-25-thin-models_x.htm>.Old, Three Months. "Cognitive Development: Definition from Answers.com." Answers.com: Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.answers.com/topic/cognitive-development>.Parker, Kathleen. "Sexual Objectification." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_objectification>. : 

Other SourcesBryannan, Laura A. "The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf." Homestar.org. 1 Feb. 1999. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.homestar.org/bryannan/wolf.html>.Emily Guglielmo. “The Correct Origins of "The Beauty Myth" 1 March. 1996. Web 04 June 2010.<http://atdpweb.soe.berkeley.edu/quest/Mind&Body/EGuglielmo.htmlBody Image, Advertising. "Eating Disorders: Body Image and Advertising - HealthyPlace." HealthyPlace.com - Trusted Mental Health Information and Support - HealthyPlace. 11 Dec. 2008. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/main/eating-disorders-body-image-and-advertising/menu-id-58/>.Body Image and Advertising. 2000. Issue Briefs. Studio City, Calif.: Mediascope Press. April 25, 2000.Hellmich, Nanci "USATODAY.com - Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image?" News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - USATODAY.com. 26 Sept. 2006. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-09-25-thin-models_x.htm>.Old, Three Months. "Cognitive Development: Definition from Answers.com." Answers.com: Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.answers.com/topic/cognitive-development>.Parker, Kathleen. "Sexual Objectification." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_objectification>.

Fox, Kate "Mirror, Mirror - A Summary of Research Findings on Body Image." Social Research - Social Trends Analysis. 1 Jan. 1997. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.sirc.org/publik/mirror.html>.Rae, Adriana M. "Model Measurements Keep Dropping | Cosmetic Makeovers - Show and Tell." Cosmetic Makeovers - Show and Tell | Before and after Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Makeovers. 2 Feb. 2007. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://cosmetic-makeovers.com/2007/02/02/model-measurements-keep-dropping>.Center for Disease Control & Prevention "FASTSTATS - Body Measurements." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 Jan. 2006. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/bodymeas.htm>. "Media and Girls." Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation Médias. 1 Mar. 2010. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://www.mediaawareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_girls.cfm>. "Social Constructivist Theories." 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 05 June 2010.<http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social.htm>. : 

Fox, Kate "Mirror, Mirror - A Summary of Research Findings on Body Image." Social Research - Social Trends Analysis. 1 Jan. 1997. Web. 04 June 2010. <http://www.sirc.org/publik/mirror.html>.Rae, Adriana M. "Model Measurements Keep Dropping | Cosmetic Makeovers - Show and Tell." Cosmetic Makeovers - Show and Tell | Before and after Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Makeovers. 2 Feb. 2007. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://cosmetic-makeovers.com/2007/02/02/model-measurements-keep-dropping>.Center for Disease Control & Prevention "FASTSTATS - Body Measurements." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 Jan. 2006. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/bodymeas.htm>. "Media and Girls." Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation Médias. 1 Mar. 2010. Web. 05 June 2010. <http://www.mediaawareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_girls.cfm>. "Social Constructivist Theories." 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 05 June 2010.<http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social.htm>.

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